Paramount Theatre

1501 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm

At least in New York City and boroughs, smoking was also permitted in single floor movie theatres, but only in specially designated sections adjacent to fire exit doors. Only cigarettes were tolerated; cigars and pipes were banned, regardless of the theatre’s size.

robboehm
robboehm on March 7, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Well, my father was a smoker so that explains why we took the high road.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on March 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm

correction— I should have specified: “smoking was permitted in NYC theater balconies.” Balconies only. I came finally to climb to them as a teenager accompanied by friends, each with breast-pockets bulging with packs of Phillip Morris (my poison of choice) et al.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on March 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm

rvb—

For my similar experience in the Paramount’s lofty balcony, scroll above to 3 March 2005. I don’t know why my mom climbed to the balcony that day. We never did at other theaters, except when accompanied by a smoker (her younger sister was one). IN those days, smoking was permitted in NYC theaters. It’s a wonder the projection beam was able to travel to the screen through all the celestial haze of Phillip Morris et al.

robboehm
robboehm on March 7, 2009 at 4:08 am

I. was only in the Paramount once with my parents as a child. At that time there was a movie and a stage show. On stage was Gene Krupa.

We climbed, and climbed up to our seats at the rear of the balconcy only to leave shortly thereafter when my mother had to leave because of the height factor which sometimes bothered her (Jones Beach Marine theatre and the Montauk Point lighthouse were the other times that I remember.)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 18, 2009 at 5:14 pm

The Three Stooges played at least one stage engagement at the Paramount Theatre. In September, 1938, “Spawn of the North,” an Alaskan sea-faring epic starring George Raft, Henry Fonda and Dorothy Lamour, was supported by “a glorious In Person Show starring Eddy Duchin and his orchestra, and featuring the amusing antics of the original Three Stooges, Hollywood’s most hilarious trio.” Here’s an ad: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm

The Paramount probably benefited the most from the crowds that gathered in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. In 1941, for example, the last complete stage and screen show started at 2:30 AM. This, the first New Year’s Eve since the USA entered WW2, found the Paramount “thoroughly prepared for any emergency. Our well-trained staff of 160 has been drilled to maintain the safety of its patrons at all times.” Here’s an ad: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 13, 2009 at 3:15 pm

The Paramount probably benefited the most from the crowds that gathered in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. In 1941, for example, the last complete stage and screen show started at 2:30 AM. This, the first New Year’s Eve since the USA entered WW2, found the Paramount “thoroughly prepared for any emergency. Our well-trained staff of 160 has been drilled to maintain the safety of its patrons at all times.” Here’s an ad: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

The Paramount probably benefited the most from the crowds that gathered in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. In 1941, for example, the last complete stage and screen show started at 2:30 AM. This, the first New Year’s Eve since the USA entered WW2, found the Paramount “thoroughly prepared for any emergency. Our well-trained staff of 160 has been drilled to maintain the safety of its patrons at all times.” Here’s an ad: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

The Paramount probably benefited the most from the crowds that gathered in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. In 1941, for example, the last complete stage and screen show started at 2:30 AM. This, the first New Year’s Eve since the USA entered WW2, found the Paramount “thoroughly prepared for any emergency. Our well-trained staff of 160 has been drilled to maintain the safety of its patrons at all times.” Here’s an ad: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm

In April, 1934, after ending his relationship with the two Rockefeller Center theatres, “Roxy” Rothafel played a stage engagment at the rival Paramount Theatre with performers from his world-famous “Gang.” Some of them had worked with “Roxy” previously at RCMH, the original Roxy, and the Capitol:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 13, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Martin & Lewis played another two-week engagement at the Paramount Theatre in 1953, this time opening August 26th and keyed to the Labor Day holiday period. Their co-performers were singer Polly Bergen, the Four Step Brothers, and Dick Stabile & Orchestra. On the Paramount’s screen was “Plunder in the Sun” with Glenn Ford. That Labor Day period, Martin & Lewis were also all over town in the Loew’s circuit engagement of “Scared Stiff,” coupled with “Pony Express.”

Vito
Vito on December 3, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Bob, I loved that clip as well. If only to once again see and hear that wonderful Eyes and Ears Paramount News opening and closing :)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 3, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Thanks, Bob, for posting that link. In one of the newsreels I spotted my now deceased friend, Ed Sullivan, a photographer who was employed by Paramount’s NYC headquarters to cover all its news-making events.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on December 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Paramount newsreel covered this event. Check out the clip starting at 1:57 on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuEtIllFGQ4

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 3, 2008 at 5:19 pm

The 1951 stage booking of Martin & Lewis was for two weeks and opened on July 4th, when 22,450 tickets were sold at the 3,650-seater, according to press reports at the time. Lines started forming at 6AM and continued all day, sometimes stretching to Eighth Avenue. M&L were receiving a guaranteed fee of $50,000 per week, out of which they had to pay the supporting talent, including singer Helen O'Connell and Dick Stabile’s Orchestra. M&L also would get 50% of the weekly gross when it passed $100.000. The movie on the bill was Paramount’s “Dear Brat,” third (and last) in a series of comedies that started with “Dear Ruth.” $1 in 1951 had the purchasing power of $8.33 in 2008.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 1, 2008 at 7:59 pm

A series of related images of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performing on stage at the Paramount Theatre in 1951 can be found here, along with mob scenes snapped during the engagement: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 25, 2008 at 9:37 pm

While passing via bus today, I noticed that the Hard Rock Cafe has the restaurant on the second floor, which gives a view onto Times Square. When World Wrestling occupied the site, its restaurant was well below ground, which proved a big mistake. It was like dining in Hitler’s bunker. Instead of Eva Braun, you got Gorgeous George.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 23, 2008 at 7:30 pm

For those wondering what movie accompanied Billy Eckstine’s 1950 stage appearance:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 23, 2008 at 6:23 pm

To Tony B: Annual subscribers to Variety have access to their archives, but I don’t think it’s to every issue ever published. Your best source is probably a public library that has Variety on microfilm. Individual issues sometimes turn up for sale at E-bay, but most of the really old ones must have turned to dust by this time.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 23, 2008 at 6:14 pm

This April 1950 photo from the Life Magazine archive shows the Paramount’s orchestra pit about to descend after a performance by Billy Eckstine and orchestra:
View link

RobertR
RobertR on November 22, 2008 at 12:58 am

Alan Ladd on screen and Miss Peggy Lee on stage

AnthonyBiancoviso
AnthonyBiancoviso on November 21, 2008 at 8:11 pm

To Warren Harris: How do you retrieve back (very Back!) copies of Variety?

Anthony Biancoviso

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 21, 2008 at 6:38 pm

I heard that Jerry Lewis was thinking about running in 2012. No announcement yet, though.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 21, 2008 at 6:28 pm

To accommodate the crowds in 1951, the Paramount Theatre presented six complete shows daily of this screen/stage booking. And on the night of February 2nd, a future American president was a special added attraction on large screen television:
View link